The opportunity to supply some 6,000 kilos of cacao beans for Boholanos becomes even more pressing as a young chocolatier opens here the first chocolate factory: Chocolate House here in Tagbilaran.
Dalareich Polot, 29, a graduate of Business Management and Entrepreneurship, who has since become a chocolatier and one of only two Boholanos schooled to prepare roasted cacao beans into delectable chocolates, opened the bigger facility from their old house to produce more and so visitors can see the whole chocolate production process.
Polot opened Bohol’s first real full scale P4 million two chocolate factory and showroom in Booy District after blessings September 8, 2017.
Churning out staggering 6 tons of fermented cacao beans a month before they temporarily downscaled production following the renovation of the old factory, the new state of the art facility could even possibly increase the demand, said co-owner and mother Elsa Polot, 53.
Then, when Bohol could hardly supply a hundred kilos of cacao beans, the Polots have to source out their cacao beans from Mindanao, she added.
We are supposed to buy from local sources, the elder Polot explained but the local supply however is not as steady and reliable so we have to import, she narrated, while her daughter Dalareich Polot was table hopping entertaining guests to the opening.
We also buy from local suppliers, but the most they can give is about a sack, that’s 60 kilos a month, added Dalareich’s father Ricardo.
That is barely 1% of the local production requirement before the new factory opened.
At the house blessing were cacao growers in Bohol,who have lately gone into setting up plantations seeing the viability of supplying the new factory’s needs in the next months.
Also there were representatives and owners of hotels and resorts supplied by Ginto chocolates.
Born from Elsa, then a city street sweeper and Ricardo, 55; a tricycle driver, Dalareich and 4 other siblings grew into a family that has kept a tradition of tableya making her mother learned from their grandparents.
When life was harder, the Polot couple decided to focus on tableya, while asking their daughter Dalareich to push for their tableya product via online promotions.
It did not take long for Dalareich to get into the same rut that had her parents into that same captivating scent of chocolate happiness.
As the family slowly built on the tableya business learning from the feel of it, the daughter had other things in mind: getting scientific training for the high-end chocolates.
After an intensive training on the fine craft of chocolates in Belgium, Polot went home eager to break away from her parent’s tableya to go big on her new line: Ginto Luxury Chocolates.
Last year, September 8, 2016, she left for the States for the International Visitor Leadership Program which opened to her international markets and linkages for her Philippine brand of chocolates carefully brewing the taste of the heirloom white beans of the MesoAmerican Criollio and the Forastero and Trinitario hybrids.
Sept 8, 2017, we opened our new chocolate house / factory!, she excitedly shared. This is the ultimate dream of my parents for our business, today we just opened our chocolate house!, she told her guests.
We called this a chocolate house because this is our home, where it all started, the house of my lola “nanay” who started our tablea and handed [the chocolate tradition] to my mama, she explained.
This house is a chocolate factory, first floor is the whole production area where visitors got to see the whole chocolate processing through the glass walls, the 2nd floor is showroom store where you can buy our products we produce everyday!
About her plans, other than going big on production and help local growers, she also intends to make her chocolate house a learning area.
End of this month or early next month, we’ll do events like educational chocolate factory tour, chocolate making for the kids, chocolate appreciation and tasting day and chocolate buffet! I’ll keep you posted!, she promised.
But before she could comfortably do that, she hopes she will have to be buying cacao from local sources, in a bid to also spread the cocoa aroma benefits to the Boholano growers, Dalareich aired.
The Chocolate House factory is located at 0091-J Bukid Drive Booy District, Tagbilaran City. (PIA)